Archives For September 2018

In “Jesus and the Disinherited”, Howard Thurman wrote, “…the most important question, since the thing which makes Him [Jesus] most significant is not the way in which He resembled his fellows but the way in which He differed from all the rest of them. Jesus inherited the same traits as countless other Jews of his time; he grew up in the same society; and yet he was Jesus, and the others were not.”

love and devotion,mission,love,commitment,Ephesians 4:29,building up someone in need,no foul language

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Sure, Jesus was the Son of God, but He also came to earth as a fully human man. He was free to choose however He wanted. His desire and love for God necessitated He make choices we do not have to contemplate, and He chose the right way every time. What if we possessed such love and devotion for the Father? What if we could do nothing but please Him?

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Are you going through the motions as you walk with Christ? I look back on a couple generations of church-going Christians who have done a wonderful job of keeping their traditions alive. How many things have come and gone since the local church began meeting? For hundreds of years, Sunday after Sunday, people have flocked to churches. Even those who can’t seem to make it every Sunday still show up on Easter and Christmas.

going through the motions,routine,purpose,commitment,Acts 4:34-35,share as any had need,Jim Rohn,change,John 10:10,abundant life

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While the implementation of the details has changed over the centuries, the format has remained virtually untouched: Sing a couple songs, listen to a sermon, sing another song, and go out en masse to live our lives as if nothing has changed. Such is the legacy of the modern church. There is no doubt we are going through the motions and will probably continue to do so for another couple hundred years.

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Christine Caine makes a great analogy, comparing the way many Christians live their lives to hitting the snooze button on their alarm. Mrs. Caine wrote, “Do you know what it’s like when you have to get up, but you just keep hitting snooze until, all of a sudden, your morning is gone! When it comes to sharing the gospel, it’s time for us to rise and shine. The world is too dark for the church to keep hitting snooze.

snooze button,mission,commitment,discipleship,love,priorities,Isaiah 65:17,new heaven,2 Peter 3:13,new earth,Isaiah 22:13,we eat and drink while tomorrow they die,Matthew 28:18-20,great commission

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Each time we become sidetracked or indifferent about sharing the gospel, it’s like we are choosing snooze and allowing the world to linger in darkness longer.” We all know hitting the snooze button is a bad idea, but it becomes catastrophic when the Church hits the button. We are indeed a slumbering giant, and our wake-up call is long past due.

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What scares you? Fear is the great killer of love and hope because we know perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Each of us who have chosen to follow Christ has been called to love. We love because Christ first loved us (1 John 4:19; John 13:34). Every waking hour should be spent loving others as Christ did. The reality is we shy away from expressing such love.

what scares you,fear,faith,1 John 4:18,love casts out fear,1 John 4:19;love because jesus first loved you,Luke 22:44,sweat blood,sweating blood,1 John 4:4,greater is he that is in you

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We’re afraid of what others might think or what loving others might cost us. It’s one thing to love your spouse or children; it’s quite another to love a homeless man, gang member, terrorist, or someone in prison. When the going gets tough, we are quick to hit the exit door.

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I’ve seen a lot of political madness in my day, but nothing approaching the ridiculousness of what is out there today. It is absolute insanity. Personally, I pay little attention to any of it. It’s like watching an updated version of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. I can’t justify spending the precious few breaths entrusted to me getting captivated by something over which I have no control. I mean no offense to the news junkies out there. I was once you many years ago. 

political madness,cnn,fox news,president trump,love,mission,Kingdom of God,God's Kingdom,a.w. Tozer,Matthew 6:24,no man can serve two masters

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I do think we all will one day have to answer for how we spent our time, and to me, that is more than enough reason to avoid the political madness as much as possible. The truth is, who happens to be in power in Washington D.C. or in whatever country you reside, means little to those of us whose sole allegiance is to the King of all Kings.

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What if you were starting over in your walk with Christ? What would you do differently than you are doing right now? It’s easy and even inevitable to fall into ruts if we are not intentional in our choices. Are you living the life you know Jesus wants you to live? Why not? What’s holding you back? What fears have been getting in the way of you living your potential and becoming the person God created you to be?

starting over,mulligan,do over,God's will,purpose,priorities,habits,discipline,spiritual disciplines,discipleship,I John 5:3–5,overcomers,faith

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I admit it’s a lot of questions to throw at you all at once, but if we aren’t taking the time to evaluate where we are in our relationship with Jesus and how we’re doing in our walk, we will continue to drift along doing the same things we’ve always done and achieving the same results we’ve always gotten.

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Recently I was reading a challenge I thought was so good I had to pass it along. The challenge was to think of all the ways you attend church on auto-pilot. Most tend to park in the same spot, sit in the same seat, and talk to the same people. We don’t even think about it. So, what could you do differently next week to step out of your comfort zone and do something you have to think about rather than coast on auto-pilot?

church on auto-pilot,going through motions,Revelation 3:16,vomit you out of my mouth,lukewarm,mediocre,mediocrity,Luke 9:57-62,foxes have holes,foxes have dens,church,discipleship

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What if you reached out to someone you’ve never met and struck up a conversation? What if you gave up your favorite parking spot so someone else could have the shade? Most of all, what if we made the point of our worship all about Jesus?

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It is said what has your attention has you. My experience has proven this to be true. If God has your attention, then God has you. You are a servant of the King. What if God doesn’t have your attention? What if your attention is split between many things or worse yet, anywhere but God? Is anything other than God worth your attention? Regardless of the circumstances, I can’t think of anything more important than God… ever!

what consumes you,mission,purpose,commitment,discipleship,love,priorities,church

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Begin with God and everything else tends to fall into place one way or another. If we want to be disciples of Jesus though, I think we must go beyond attention. We need to be consumed with God to the point we struggle to think of anything or anyone else. So, let me ask the question, what consumes you?

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